The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has agreed to pass the Mille Lacs Lake Freedom to Fish Act of 2012 (H.R. 5797), to the House for consideration.
Authored by U.S. Representative Chip Cravaack, this legislation stresses Minnesota's state sovereignty, job creation, cutting federal red tape, and strengthening Minnesota's fishing tradition.
In March of 2010, the Coast Guard started to require fishing guides to obtain a federal "six-pack' boating license to continue to do their jobs.
According to Rep. Cravaack, the certification is difficult to acquire and can cost individual fishing guides up to $2000 in fees, training, and travel costs.
"The state has been conducting effective oversight for over 100 years, and the Coast Guard's action negatively impacts local citizens and makes fishing more expensive," said Rep. Cravaack.
H.R. 5797 would remove the burdensome, administrative overreach by the U.S. Coast Guard and restore the state's authority to permit and inspect the vessels on the lake, according to Rep. Cravaack.
The Mille Lacs Lake Freedom to Fish Act was passed out of committee with the support of Chairman John Mich (R-FL) and Ranking Member Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV).
The Act is also supported by fishing guides and resort owners.